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A cautionary tale of memory card failure

by Paul Schmitt

Perhaps you recall the statement “It is not if a your computer hard drive will fail, but when”?  This was a foundation of my talk on a reasonable backup process.  No, I have not had a hard drive fail, but something near to it.   (But the hard drive in my spouse’s DELL did fail last week.  Put a new SSD in the C: location.  Yes, all her documents were backed up on a flash drive.)

The memory cards in your camera are really just a solid state version of a hard drive. Perhaps they are more reliable given that they have no moving disk whirling at several thousand rpm’s.

Earlier this week I shot some birds photos in my backyard and came inside to download them.  (Over 400 images.)  When I inserted the Lexar 32 GB  UDMA 7 card in my computer reader, I got this pop-up.


Never had this before.  I did the scan and the images came up on my FastRawViewer software. All the images seemed to be there. I use this software because it is ultra fast, has focus peaking to show if the bird is in precise focus and avoids some of the color errors of a JPG preview.  All was going swimmingly, and then FastRawViewer froze.  I restarted and re-inserted the CF card, feeling confused.  Same cycle of repair, working and then freezing.  It repeated this twice, telling me something was fishy.

I pondered this,and decided to test this again on my laptop with a different card reader and different software, LIghtroom.  Same result. Not the card reader, computer or reader.

Talked to my computer maintenance man, and he came to the same conclusion.   This CF card is failing. I researched the web for an app to test the Lexar card.  Lexar has an app, but it is targeting image recovery and not fixing.

Not worth chancing the loss of photos in the future. It’s the end of the road old friend.
If this ever happens again, I won’t hesitate to blame the card.  A good lesson to learn without any damage done.
Enjoy the weekend.
Paul Schmitt

 

January meeting cancelled; see you on February 1

A message from our president Brian Chabot:

Dear CN Photographers,

I and others are concerned that the low temperatures predicted or Thursday evening (and Friday and Saturday), will keep members at home. We feel that it would be best to cancel the January meeting and move the Best Photos of 2017 to our February meeting, hoping for better weather.
This is good weather for frozen waterfalls, if you want to add to your collection. Ithaca Falls is a good place to begin, but there are others.
The deadline for the State of the Art show is fast approaching (Feb 9). It is a good opportunity to share your work in our community. You submit digital versions for selection, but will quickly need prints for those selected. Details are at www.soagithaca.org
The Canadian American Photo Expo will occur in late April. See https://www.canamexpo.com for details. It has two days of workshops on a variety of photography topics. There appear to be three experts on nature photography. Two were at the Smoky Man workshop and were accomplished presenters. Registration is open.
Stay warm!
Brian

December 7 meeting info

The December meeting will feature a bunch of useful information from a program that Brian Chabot and Paul Schmitt attended in October.  The Great Smoky Mountain Photography Summit is a 4-1/2 day program that begins each day with multiple outings led by pro photographers to some of the best places in the National Park. Each day continues with a variety of presentations from those same photographers. There were sessions on editing, creativity, use of flash, travel and more.  Brian and Paul pulled together some neat photos, some useful references, and valuable tips to make your photographic skills even stronger.

Paul will also continue the discussion of backup options for photographers.  He just completed backing up his 1.2 TB archive using BackBlaze and will talk about his experience.
We will also be discussing future plans for club events, so your participation at the meeting  is important.

 

 

November 2 meeting info

Our photo sharing theme will be “best of fall”.  Bring up to three images to show us!

On a personal note from the CNP webmaster/post writer, I hope that you are all having a great fall in the northeast.  I’m in the Anza-Borrego desert, photographing cacti, ancient mountains, and wildlife, and it sure doesn’t feel like fall out here!

Update for October 5

Our next meeting is October 5, 7:30 in 404 Plant Science (our usual meeting room). This will be a technology-focused meeting.

Adam won’t be able to make it (see previous post), so Paul will present on approaches to storing and managing electronic images. He has a brief presentation on some new software he is learning to use. We will have time to share one or two images that you would like feedback on- any subject or topic. 

Drone photography and tech topics at our next meeting

Our next meeting is October 5, 7:30 in 404 Plant Science (our usual meeting room). This will be a technology-focused meeting.

Update:  Adam won’t be able to make it, so Paul will present on approaches to storing and managing electronic images. He has a brief presentation on some new software he is learning to use. We will have time to share one or two images that you would like feedback on- any subject or topic. 

Professional photographer and videographer Adam Baker will share what he has learned in getting involved with drone photography. This is a rapidly developing imaging technology. Although few of us may use this equipment, Adam will give us an introduction to what is involved.  We also will continue a discussion begun at the last meeting on how to store images. Paul will lead the discussion, but we will share and get feedback on the variety of approaches used by CNP members.

Our photo assignment for the November meeting is “Best of Fall.” How you represent the fall season is up to you. It is a major transition for the temperate natural world. There are lots of opportunities for creativity or an excuse to visit favorite or new locations.

Hope to see you next Thursday!

March 2 meeting info

adam_baker-mountainOur March photo sharing theme will be “patterns of winter”.  Adam Baker will give a presentation on his journey though the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon coast.  The photo above was shot by Adam during his trip, and it will be a real treat to hear the backstory of his stunning photography.

Feb. 4 photo shoot at the Bailey Conservatory

forget-me-not-960Brian has arranged to have the L.H. Bailey Conservatory available for our use on Saturday, February 4 from 9:00 -11:00am. This is the large greenhouse along Tower Road in front of the Plant Science Building. The Conservatory was recently rebuilt and restocked with displays of interesting plants. There are opportunities to practice macrophotography with Paul and Kathy available to share their approaches to greenhouse photography. Gather your tripods, macro lenses and related gear and join us!

Feb. 2 meeting: A special presentation on putting nature in video

conowingo-eagle_2016-12-14_266-fbJoin us for a presentation by Professor Emeritus Charles Walcott on the process of Putting Nature in Video. A distinguished ornithologist and science communicator, Prof. Walcott will describe his equipment, techniques, and approaches for producing short videos on the natural history research of his colleagues. Those interested in developing or improving their skills with video photography are welcome.